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ATMs to disburse new Currency Notes by early December as Recalibration of Machines needed: Finance Ministry

To cater to the requirement of rural areas, banks were advised to supply notes of smaller denominations (Rs 100 and less) as well as Rs 10 coins

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New Delhi, Nov 13, 2016: The Finance Ministry said on Saturday that the ATMs will be able to disburse new currency notes only by early December as recalibration of the machines requires both hardware and software modifications.

“Recalibration (requires both software and hardware changes) of ATMs is going on, which will be completed by end of this month or early December. Other denominations will then be disbursed by ATMs,” a statement from Finance Ministry said.

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“Presently only Rs 100 notes are being disbursed from the ATMs. Out of 2 lakh ATMs, about 1.2 lakh are operational,” it added.

Taking stock of the issuance of new currency notes to the public, Finance Ministry said that a total of over seven crore transactions have taken place in less than three days after the demonetisation was announced.

“A total of over 7 crore transactions have taken place from November 9 up to mid-day of November 12 (i.e. in the last two and a half days) for deposit, exchange of old notes and withdrawal from ATM and over the counter,” it said.

“Old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations amounting to about Rs 2 lakh crore have been deposited to banks,” it said.

Ministry of Finance along with Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Indian Banks Association (IBA) and a few major banks participated in the review meeting on Saturday to take stock of the cash availability, it said.

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“There is sufficient cash available with RBI and Banks. They were advised step up the supply of cash to the public,” the statement said.

The availability of cash and issuance of cash to bank branches and post offices on a daily basis is being constantly monitored and necessary rebalancing being done for more efficient allocation of banknotes of requisite denominations between different areas, it said.

To cater to the requirement of rural areas, banks were advised to supply notes of smaller denominations (Rs 100 and less) as well as Rs 10 coins, it added.

One of the primary objectives of cancellation of legal tender character of old series of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes was to check the menace of terror financing through counterfeit currency notes. The receipt of counterfeits currency notes is being monitored closely.

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RBI has been advised by the government to set up a special cell to monitor the receipt of fake currency notes and inform such instances to the Economic Offences Wing of the state police, enforcement agencies of the Central Government and also to the Ministry of Finance.

“The law enforcement agencies have also been advised to maintain close vigil over possible movement of fake currencies and take prompt action as and when such cases are detected by them as well as by RBI and banks,” it said. (IANS)

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China And Russia Accused of Manipulating Their Currencies By Trump

Donald Trump to accuse China and Russia as their currency manipulators

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Donald Trump.
To Lower Drug Costs at Home, Trump Wants Higher Prices Abroad. (Wikimedia Commons)

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday it is unacceptable that Russia and China are devaluating their currencies, days after the Treasury Department declined to label these countries as currency manipulators in its latest report.

Amid a possible new round of sanctions against Russia and a simmering trade war with China, Trump tweeted Monday morning, “Russia and China are playing the Currency Devaluation game as the U.S. keeps raising interest rates. Not acceptable!

In general, when a country artificially devaluates its currency, its exports become cheaper and more competitive in the global marketplace.

The currencies of U.S, China and Russia.
FILE – The U.S. dollar, Indonesian rupiah and Chinese renminbi currencies are displayed in the poster of a money exchange shop in Jakarta, June 12, 2013. VOA

During his presidential campaign, Trump has repeatedly accused China of lowering the value of its currency and vowed to formally label China as a currency manipulator, but so far has failed to do so.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says the administration is closely watching China’s currency practices. “That’s something that the Treasury Department is watching very closely and we’re continuing to monitor it,” she said Monday.

In a semiannual report titled “Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States” released last Friday, the Treasury Department did not designate China as a currency manipulator, but put it as one of the six countries on a monitoring list. The other five countries on the list are Japan, Korea, India, Germany, and Switzerland. Russia is not on the monitoring list. The Chinese currency, the renminbi, has appreciated over 3 percent against the dollar since the beginning of this year, after strengthening by over 6 percent in 2017.

Also Read: Trump: US ‘Being Stolen’ by Illegal Migrants

Brad Setser,a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former Treasury Department official said in an interview with VOA he does not think it is an accurate complaint that Russia and China are playing the currency game.

“The Russian ruble was actually quite stable before the sanctions on Russia were intensified. It’s quite clear the volatility in the ruble is a function of the intensification of U.S. sanctions, a sign that the sanctions are biting,” he explained.

Setser said over the past several months, the Chinese yuan has actually appreciated, and China has not been intervening heavily.

“There are plenty of things to criticize China for on trade, but right now, there’s no real basis for criticizing China on currency,” he noted.

Russia's Central Bank Chief.
Russia’s Central bank chief Elvira Nabiullina presents the new 2,000 and 200 ruble banknotes in Moscow on Oct. 12, 2017. VOA

In the past three years, the Federal Reserve raised interest rate six times to a range between 1.5 percent and 1.75 percent, and said they expect to raise the rate two or three more times this year.

Usually, when a country raises its interest rates, the value of its currency rises, making its exports more expensive and less competitive. However, higher U.S. interest rates have not raised the value of the dollar.

“The interesting puzzle that the market has been pondering for the past several months is that the dollar has actually weakened even as the U.S. has raised rates, and even as U.S. passed legislation to expand the fiscal deficit,” Setser said.

Also Read: This Way China Can Help India In The Terms of Artificial Intelligence

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Economic Analysis at the Treasury Department Setser stressed the United States should not label China as a currency manipulator at this moment.

“It would undermine the United States’ credibility to name China at a point in time when there is no plausible case that China is managing its exchange rate in a way that is adverse to the U.S. interest,” he said.  VOA